Back Ground

It all began at Malmö FlygindustrI (MFI), Southern Sweden, which was started by Frans Henrik Kockum as part of the Trelleborg Group (Trelleborg Rubber). Beside designing and building light aircraft, MFI was experienced in building 25 and 29 feet double ended work wessels.

In 1962 MFI had a slow period in the aircraft production and it was decided to expand the business by playing an active role in an emerging market for glass fibre sailing yachts.

In their search for a suitable plug, they chose "Casella II" (Picture) - an Arvid Laurin design - which had participated in the Transatlantic Race from Bermuda to Gothenburg

in 1960, arranged to celebrate the centenary of the foundation of GKSS (Gothenburg's Royal Yacht Club). Her owner - Yngve Cassel - was approached and for a fee he agreed to have his boat used as a full-scale mould

Somehow Arvid Laurin got wind of this plan and pointed out to MFI, that it was not recommendable to build a glass fibre version of an old design, when he could draw them a better and faster one, especially designed to take advantage of the flexibility of glass fibre construction. MFI agreed and Arvid Laurin set out to do something quite new to him, drawing a 32' boat that would not be built of wood but in a much more flexible material allowing curvatures that previously had been impossible.

The drawings were made in Arvid Laurin's home in Saltsjöbaden in November 1962.The first drawing was made (fig. 1), on which many of the first orders was sold. It was, however changed (fig. 2) to make more room in the cockpit.

Fig. 2: The production drawing.

 During In the first part of 1963, all the construction and modelling work were done and in October was the final plug approved.

With respect to the deck layout and interior, MFI received qualified assistance from a local group of early L32 buyers, who had decided to do this work by themselves.

The first L32 - "Tjoo-Hoo" was launched in April 1964 - unfortunately not in time to be exhibited in the Hamburg Boat Show in 1963. A scaled model was produced and exhibited instead. People were so impressed, that MFI took enough orders to keep the yard busy for a year and 75 contracts were signed, even before Tjo-Hoo was in the water.

Fig. 1 The first L32 drawing

Originally "Tjoo Hoo" had sail number 663, but for reasons only known by few, it was exchanged with "Eva's" number 666, which was there after used in all drawings in MFI's marketing material and on this site. The whereabouts of "Tjoo Hoo" today is unknown.

MFI's idea was to produce only the hull including deck and a mounted keel and then ship it to the buyer (or agent). Then the buyer (or agent) would fix the completion according to his own ideas, either by doing it himself or by arrangement with a yard. MFI also provided an extensive handbook for the "Do it yourself" people with detailed information about how to go about building the interior fittings.

The first model ("The Classic" - MK1 ) was the short cabin version. Some time in 1965 it was followed by MK2 (long cabin), but the first - Build number 79 - was only followed by 6 other boats.

"Hinyana", one of only two L 32s with 11/12. The other is "Ambio". Both build by Berg Marin in Karlskrona..

It has always been claimed that Malmö Flygindustri altered Arvid Laurin's original drawings:

Firstly, there was no lead inlay in the iron keel, although the design meant to have 585 kg in the front of the keel, making the keel heavier and moving the weight balance forward when the boat is heeling over.

Secondly, The chain plates were moved to the outside of the hull, although they were meant to be in the deck just inside foot rail, to get the Genoa closer midships.

Thirdly, it has a masthead rig, although it was designed with a 11/12 rig with a taller mast (14,5 m)and shorter boom, all together moving the sail centre forward.

These "small" differences  could give a boat, that does not luff so much to windward in strong winds. Two L32s have actually be rigged following the original ideas of Arvid Laurin.

Limhamn, Sweden: First L32 Race ever on 12 September 1964. From port "Argo"(665), Ketch rigged "Yurg" and "Eva" (663)

MFI produced the L32 from 1964 to early 1969. The total number of yachts produced is 107. A qualified guess is that Build numbers were as follows:

  • 1964 no.    1 -   46
  • 1965 no.  47 -  83
  • 1966 no.  84 -  95
  • 1967 no.  96 -  99 and
  • 1968 no.100 - 107

In 1969 the plugs were transferred to "Karlskrona Varvet", a shipyard with a long history of building navy vessels. Only the Demo boat was built here. The 2 other boats claimed to have been built here are assumed to be remains of the Malmö production....

However, during 1971-73, the shipyard let out the mould to individual projects, out of which came a total of 16 with a split of 8 of each model. 6 of the MK2s were built in Bror Janson's Yard in Fjällbacka on the Swedish West coast under the initiative of Göte Windeman and Jan Karlsson. Jan Steenberg was the "Purchasing Manager" and was activily involved in transporting the "MK2 mould" from Karlskrona Varvet and back.

It was during the period of 1971-73, that an extra "MK2 mould" was made, which was used for a Norwegian production of 6 before it was destroyed.These are the only L32s which were not build in sandwich

In 1973, Karlskrona Varvet sold the MK1 mould to a newly started company "Berg Marin AB". The owners - Benny Carlson and Rolf Palmquist - had owned "Bergåsa Bilvård" since 1966. Beside Auto repair, etc. they let out moulds for DIY production of multiple boats upto 26 feet. They sold the company and brought the many moulds together with the L32 MK1 and the OC35 (another MFI production) into Berg Marin.

The production started with 2 boats in 1973 with 8 following in 1974 and 2 in 1975. At this time the mould was at its last leg and Kr S 5459 "Annelie" was the last one to be built in it. Before being destroyed, however, it was used as mould for the MK3 plug.

Basically it was a MK1, which had been modified on the following points:

  • 7 cm higher freeboard
  • The 1 m higher mast was moved 20 cm forward and the boom shortened
  • The weight of the keel was increased by 425 kg
  • The Chain plates moved to the top of the Whale Deck
  • Changed cockpit lay-out
  • In addition, many of the boats have a bowsprit of 0,8 m

All boats were delivered with mounted rudder, keel, Chain plates , etc and sometimes also the engine. With the exception of the 2 last MK3s (and maybe "Anneli"(KR-S 5459) and "Leoni" (KR-S762) from the 12 MK1s)the sandwich material was 3/4" balsa in hull and deck, whereas the cabin roof was 1" and the sides 3/8".

Berg Marin used a production form, which entailed, that the buyer participated in the production in about 14 days, supervised by Sven "Nisse" Nilsson. This system was approved by "Norske Veritas", which after a control issued a certificate on each delivery. Apart from 1 boat, the interior was always made by the owners themselves or another shipyard.

The MK3 mould is the only one still in existence, although it has not been used since 1985, where 2 boats were built for the 2 Berg Marin owners themselves. Any inquiry should go to Saltö Varv AB

Väst Kust AB. When Karlskrona Varvet sold their moulds in 1973, the MK2 one was bought by a group of 10 L32 enthusiasts in Göteborg, with Lars G Larson as Primus Inter Pares. The objective was initially to make a boat for each of the members of the group and keep the cost as low as possible. This was achieved through volume purchase.

They found a production site in Lerum, just outside Göteborg, and the production began. The building process was in essence, that the owners were doing the hull himself assisted by the owners of the boats before and after him in the production line.Some few were made in Balsa, but the majority had Divinysell both in hull and deck

The word of this production got around and soon came requests for boats from outside of the group. To honour this new demand, the new company was founded to manage the production.Pictures from Lerum

After having built 30, the mould was moved to Trio Marin, Kungälv in 1975, where Sony Baldestam was supervising and coordinating the production of additional 19 boats after the same production pattern as in Lerum. All the boats of this series had Divinysell both in hull and deck

After completion of this series of boats in 1980, the mould was dormant for about 8 years before a small production of 4 boats took place in Torslanda in 1988-89. These boats were the last to ever use this mould and the latest L32 produced.

Via the Internet, the plug was later offered free of charge to anyone who would remove it from its storage, but in lack of positive response it was finally destroyed some time during 2000.

As all the original moulds are now destroyed, the chance of seeing new L32's on the water is very slim, although it could still happen, using the MK3 mould. Contact information - Per-Anders Daag at "Saltö Varv AB"

Overview of the production from 1964 to 89

Link to Boat Details